Italy's Fabio Fognini
Italian Fabio Fognini could be hit with sanctions after a foul-mouthed tirade at the chair umpire on his way to another early exit from the Rome Masters yesterday.
Fognini's defeat of Britain's out-of-form defending champion Andy Murray earlier this week raised hopes he could finally make it past the third round for the first time in his career. But in a 1hr 19min clash that drew whistles from his own fans on centre court, the fiery Italian, ranked 29 in the world, was brought crashing back to earth by the clinical game of 20-year-old German Alexander Zverev.
"You're fucking arrogant," Fognini shouted at chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani at the end of a match which saw the Italian smash his racquet on the ground on several occasions and kick a linesman's chair. Lahyani, a Swede of Moroccan origin, soaked it all up. He is already popular with tennis watchers following his officiating of the combustible Wimbledon final in 2013 that saw Murray end Britain's 77-year title drought. Fognini also labelled him a "clown" and "loudmouth" on his way to crashing out of the tournament in Rome.
In the women's tournament Venus Williams overcame Briton Johanna Konta to win their third-round clash 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova exited following a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 defeat to Australian qualifier Daria Gavrilova.
Breather for Sharapova
Maria Sharapova has been granted a wildcard for next month's WTA grasscourt event in Birmingham, a key Wimbledon warm-up, organisers said.
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